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Nile Basin Decision Support System

This course provides an introduction to the Nile Basin Decision Support System and water resources modeling tools.

About This Course

The DSS elearning course seeks to introduce you to the Nile Basin Decision Support System (NB DSS). The NB DSS is an analytical tool a common computer-based platform for communication, information management and analysis of water resources. It provides a framework for sharing knowledge, understanding river system behavior, evaluating alternative development and management strategies, and supporting informed decision making.

This course consists of 11 modules and you are expected to take 1 module per week. This DSS course is classified into three levels; basic, intermediate and advanced

• Basic level: a ‘Certificate of successful completion of DSS Basic level’ is issued.

• Intermediate level: a ‘Certificate of successful completion of DSS Intermediate level’ is issued.

• Professional level: a ‘Certificate of successful completion of DSS Professional level’ is issued.

Level Certification / Incentives Criteria
Basic • Certificate of participation

After completion of modules:

• Module 1: DSS Installation

• Module 2: DSS User Interface

• Module 3: Database Manager Utility and System Manager

• Module 4: Time Series Manager

Intermediate • Certificate of successful completion

In addition to basic level after completion of modules:

• Module 5: GIS Manager

• Module 11: Model tutorial

• Module 6: Scenario Manager

• Module 7: Script Manager

• Module 8: Spreadsheet Manager

Professional • Professional certificate

In addition to basic and intermediate levels after completion of modules:

• Module 9: Indicator Manager

• Module 10: Analysis Managerr


Before taking this course, you are expected to have formal training or experience in at least one of the following areas; water resources management, hydrology, meteorology, energy, GIS/mapping, environment, agriculture or research. You are expected to have basic knowledge of water resources modeling using any GIS based model. In order to operate the Nile Basin DSS tool, you need to obtain a license from the Nile Basin secretariat.

Course Staff

Course Staff Image #1

Dr. Modathir Zaroug

Modathir Zaroug is a regional water resources modeler at the Nile Basin Initiative Secretariat. Modathir worked with the Sudanese Ministry of Water Resources and Electricity since Nov. 2003. He was a postdoctoral research fellow for three years in the Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) project. He was a part of a multi-disciplinary research group at the African Climate & Development Initiative (ACDI) at University of Cape Town, interacting with research teams from Southern Africa, West Africa, East Africa and India. He has a PhD from the University of Khartoum and International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy. During that time he worked three years at Drought Early Warning and Forecasting in Africa (DEWFORA) to strengthen preparedness and adaptation in Africa. He got his M.Sc. in Hydroinformatics from UNESCO IHE for Water Education, Delft, Netherlands. He has a good experience in hydrology and familiar with different hydrological models and regional climate modelling. He is interested in the Nile Basin climate and hydrology.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which language will be used?

English is the language used in multi-media instructional materials, for communication between trainees and moderators and in discussions on the discussion platform.

Are there plans to develop courses in other languages such as French and Arabic?

In the medium to long term and based, among other things, on feedback on the English course, the NBI may consider translation of the English course to other major languages used in the Nile region.

Who is eligible to participate in the DSS course?

Admission is open to anybody interested in the course but priority will be given to citizens of the Nile riparian countries with DSS licenses.

Do I have to pay to take the course?

The course will be free of charge to persons admitted to the course.

What is the benefit for me if I do the course?

It will help you understand and appreciate the benefit of using the Nile Basin Decision Support System in water resources management and development.

How much does the course cost?

There are no course fees for you, as it aims at strengthening capacity and deepening knowledge of national and transboundary water resources in the Nile Basin.

What are the requirements for admission to the course?

Applicants must preferably be citizens of the Nile riparian countries or involved in promoting water resiurces management and development. Applicants must also have attained a basin level of education (secondary school level) and have basic knowledge of geography, natural resources management, water management, energy, water resources modeling and agriculture. Trainees also need to have basic computer skills to be able to launch and view multi-media instruction materials, download and read course notes, and participate in a discussion platform.

What equipment do I need to be able to participate in the online course?

Participants need a computer or mobile communication appliance like a smart phone or tablet plus internet connectivity to be able to participate in the online course.

What materials will I receive for the course?

Participants will receive course notes in PDF format and have access to online multimedia materials. Participants will need to install the Nile Basin DSS and obtain a license from national DSS focal persons

Is a certificate awarded at the end of the course?

A Certificate of Successful Completion of the course shall be issued to participants who successfully complete the course. Participants who enroll to the course but are unable to attain the score required for the certificate of successful completion will receive an acknowledgement of their participation in the course.

What do I need to receive the Certificate of Successful Completion of the Course?

To be able to receive the Certificate of Successful Completion of the Course, participants must fulfil the following requirements: (a) complete all course modules of the Nile Basin DSS Course; (b) take the knowledge check quizzes of all lessons; (c) take the graded quiz for the 11 modules and obtain a score equal to or greater than 50 marks (out of a maximum 100 marks); (d) participation actively in the discussion platform; (e) write a short essay on the application of the DSS in the Nile Basin (special report); and (f) provide feedback on the Nile Basin DSS Course (for improvement).

Is the DSS Course accredited?

At present (2019) the DSS course is not accredited with any education accreditation body.

I am a university student. Can I obtain credit points from this course that I can transfer to my University Course?

Credit points are a standard measure of work load (study hours) in university courses. At present (2019), the DSS Course is not linked to any regular university course. Therefore, it will not be possible to transfer credit points from this course to your university course.

What is the process of application for the course?

On this page, when you scroll to the top, you will find enrol button. Click on this button and add your registration information on the page displayed.Click " create My NBI elearning course account". Then the booking is complete and you will have enrolled.

Where can I obtain more information on the course?

For more information on the DSS course, please call the number +256 414 321 424 . Or send an email to:

What computing skills and equipment are needed for the course?

A computer connected to internet, and an up todate browser.

Can I participate in a course which is ongoing?

Yes, you can participate in the course upon enrolment. But you are encouraged to participate in the entire course.